Basketball fans stood in line for three hours outside The Pyramid in Long Beach, CA to see some of their favorite NBA players show out in “The Big Payback” rematch game between the Drew League and the Goodman League.
DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, Matt Barnes, Nick Young, Trevor Ariza, Brandon Jennings, JaVale McGee, Derrick Williams and others were participants for the Drew League.
Kevin Durant, Gary Forbes, John Wall, Michael Beasley, Rudy Gay, and a few others were apart of the Goodman League team.
The game started off with emotions running high as Matt Barnes and John Wall picked up quick technical fouls in the first half.
With all the physical play the refs had no problem blowing the whistle, which made it difficult for players to get an offense going and also made it hard for them to entertain the crowd.
Durant had a few ankle breaking moves and Wall was nothing less than amazing. He attacked the basket pulling off some impressive layups and dunks.
At halftime the score was 79-71 Drew League.
The game was not as exciting as the hype made it appear; from my press seat, fans were more so happy to see basketball in action.
Late in the fourth quarter Wall took over for his team but Barnes and Harden stepped up for the Drew squad.
After Wall put up a layup with 23 seconds left to go, Durant threw the ball in the stands out of frustration ending the game 151-144 with a win for the Drew League.
John Wall was no doubt the highlight player scoring 55 points for the Goodman League while Harden was the silent hero for the Drew with 48 points.
After the game, Wall told BSO, “It was a serious game, we know it was a big payback for them.They wanted the payback, they wanted to come back and win cause they said we won in D.C. so everybody took it serious. At times it looked fun cause you seen a couple of highlights but it was serious basketball.”
The players definitely took the game seriously with all the body collisions and rough fouls. The refs did not shy from their whistles and the players expressed their frustration.
DeRozan told BSO, “It happens you know, it comes with the territory. Refs always make you frustrated but you know you have to deal with it, keep playing.”
LA’s very own Baron Davis, Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbook, WNBA’s Tina Thompson, and actor Quinton Aaron from The Blindside were in attendance.
Yes, the event was unorganized and the ticket prices were not worth the seats but the game put hope in the hearts of basketball fans who are hoping the NBA Lockout ends soon.